COVID-19 has altered our labor market in ways that many of us wouldn’t have expected. It initially triggered permanent job loss at an extraordinary rate, forcing many Americans to seek new employers. The unemployment rate peaked in April at 14.4%, but eventually, the economy start to recover, and companies began adding new hires once more. Though unemployment is still a great deal higher that in was pre-COVID, an August 2020 report found that 60% of US companies have hired employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As recruitment efforts carry on, there have been many discussions about how to properly support employees who are new to a company. Fostering new relationships and helping a new hire adjust to the company culture is difficult when many teams are still working from home. A lot of valuable experiences may be lost without a proper plan to integrate new hires during these times.
Want to know how you can continue to support new COVID-era hires? Below are some tips for you and your team to consider:
Set New Hires Up With Tools For Success
Now that many offices are operating remotely, some employees are facing a variety of new challenges at home – more distractions, lack of quiet spaces, and slow internet speeds, among other issues. These conflicts can contribute to new hires starting their new job with a dysfunctional and inadequate work space.
Equipping new hires with the right tech such as a company computer, webcam, and high-speed internet along with flexible work hours are great ways to help your employees have a foundation for success and to have the latest technology to stay connected. Home circumstances are not all the same, so managers should prepare to support each employee differently.
Give New Hires Extra Attention
Giving new hires extra attention shows them that your company cares for them and can set them up for success in the future. New employees today are often not getting the full experience, especially when it comes to forging relationships and feeling like they’re part of a larger team.
In a normal office environment, new hires can organically get to know other people at the company and start to feel like they are part of the common culture. But remotely, this isn’t possible. Now more than ever, managers should keep these circumstances in mind and make more time for new employees.
Managers have to take intentional steps to create opportunities for these types of relationships to form, from scheduling regular calls to making introductions at virtual meetings. Making space for new employees and helping them find a footing in the company can go a long way for their long-term success and sense of belonging.
Create Opportunities For Social Interaction
A 2020 study found loneliness to be one of the greatest struggles facing remote workers, many of which report feeling socially cut off from regular interactions with their colleagues. A lot of recent hires are likely feeling like this as they enter new workplaces with several new and unfamiliar faces.
As managers, staying in regular contact with new employees can help them forge one of these much-needed initial connections. Beyond this, introducing new team members to the rest of the company and finding ways they can bond and work with other employees can get them started with finding a place with the rest of the team socially.
Recent hires today are navigating a new work environment, all while trying to get through an unprecedented and challenging era in human history. Above everything, what these employees need is guidance from someone who can serve as a mentor to them.
Having someone that they can go to for questions, issues, and support can set them up with a great foundation to be a strong, and well-adjusted team player. Whether this mentor is a manager or another employee in their department, having this kind of relationship can very well help new hires flourish under our current circumstances.